Beyond Academics: How Cultural Integration Can Help Your Child
Hand in hand with great schooling, children need to develop cultural knowledge and confident social skills when they relocate to the UK education system.
For any family relocating to the UK, their children’s education is of prime importance. Intensive private tutoring and homeschooling are increasingly popular solutions for getting children up to speed in the British school system – but is academic success all it will take for your child to carve out a future in their new country? British families whose children do not attend school may be au fait with the UK system of academia, but does that guarantee success for their child if they get the right academic results?
Steve Spriggs, MD of education consultancy William Clarence Education, thinks not. “Qualifications are important and open many doors in life, but academic achievement will only get you so far,” he says. “Hand in hand with great schooling, children need to develop cultural knowledge and confident social skills. Those children who do best in later life tend to be those who are socially engaging and at ease in any social situation.”
Why Social and Cultural Integration Matters
It’s tempting to take care of the academics and to assume that your child will naturally become socialised. This is rather a hit and miss approach, however, and will take a great deal of parental time and involvement – often from parents who may themselves not yet be fully comfortable with the British culture, or aware of its subtle nuances.
Being able to thrive at the top end of British society involves absorbing certain etiquette, certain ways of being and certain standards of behaviour. If you don’t want to leave this to chance, a good solution is a tailored programme of social and cultural integration activities for your child.
Exciting and Stimulating Opportunities
A good education consultancy will offer a full range of social and cultural opportunities. At William Clarence Education, this programme ranges from museum and art gallery visits to etiquette classes, opera outings and restaurant sittings. Accompanied by an experienced and knowledgeable tutor, children absorb British culture and history by osmosis and example, and will gradually learn to feel at ease in even the most daunting of social environments.
The social vistas opened up for your child are not limited to the UK – William Clarence Education’s tutors also accompany their charges on Euro Weekends, visiting important cultural capitals and learning about their significance, while also picking up foreign language skills from native speakers.
Children who have taken part in social and cultural integration opportunities are typically well-rounded individuals, with the confidence to discuss current affairs, politics and the arts. Able to converse easily with people of all ages and backgrounds, they understand the nuances of social graces and are not phased by new experiences. Essentially, they’ve had plenty of time to practice the social and cultural skills which will be expected from them as they head to university and beyond – and it shows in their demeanour and their confidence levels.
It’s not only about equipping the child for future success, however. Social integration activities help to boost self-esteem and will broaden a child’s range of interests, helping them to find enjoyment more easily. For children who have relocated to the UK, social integration also offers a strong foothold for life. “It’s about putting down new roots,” explains Steve Spriggs. “For a child who is new to the UK, our social and cultural experiences help them learn to love their new country, and to be inspired by its rich heritage. Outings like these speed a sense of belonging – and of course, they’re great fun too.”
William Clarence Education is the leading education advisory and consultancy service in the UK. With an unrivalled reach into the UK Schooling and University network, we help and advise families from around the world to reach their maximum potential and gain access to the very best of British education.
William Clarence put the student’s needs and welfare at the centre of every programme of study we deliver with a focus on integrity and discretion. Services include UK School and University Placement, Residential Tutoring, Oxbridge Application, US College Admission and Homeschooling.
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